Local News

House bill would change size of Corolla wild horse herd

Posted March 18, 2010 6:43 p.m. EDT
Updated March 19, 2010 8:24 a.m. EDT

— A federal bill to protect Corolla wild horses was introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives.

The Corolla Wild Horse Protection Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., would require the U. S. Department of the Interior, the state of North Carolina, the County of Currituck and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to craft a new herd management plan that would allow for a herd of no fewer than 100 horses.

The current plan calls for a maximum herd size of 60. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund has said that if the wild herd were managed at that level, the herd would likely have a genetic collapse due to low genetic diversity.

Jones sponsored similar legislation that was enacted into law in 1998 to protect the wild horses roaming 3,000 acres of Cape Lookout National Seashore, Shackleford Banks, in Carteret County. That herd is managed at no fewer than 110 with a target number of 120 to 130.

“These beautiful horses are an essential piece of eastern North Carolina’s heritage,” Jones said in a statement Thursday. “This bill will help protect the viability of the Corolla herd so people can enjoy them for years to come.”

The wild horses of Corolla, also known as bankers, have survived in the Outer Banks for nearly 500 years.